After a really interesting and long (!) lunch with Björn Meyer – the product manager of LiveDocx – I am delighted to publish some information about the licensing of LiveDocx.
First of all, phpLiveDocx is released under the New BSD License. The backend document creation platform upon which phpLiveDocx is built, however, is not open source.
During the current beta release of LiveDocx, each user may consume 1 GB of bandwidth per month. On bandwidth depletion, phpLiveDocx will cease to function until the beginning of the next month.
The actual number of documents that can be created with one free account depends upon the size of template and assigned data. However, for a double page template with some graphics and a handful of text fields, you can generate around 5,000 documents per month.
That should be more than sufficient for test purposes! :-)
Once LiveDocx is out of beta, the manufacturer is considering the following methods of selling their technology:
The same way in which Google offers business customers its Search Appliance, LiveDocx will be sold as an appliance. The form of this appliance (hardware or virtual) and price point have yet to be confirmed. If you are going to be generating large numbers of documents (>10,000 per month), for example, if you work for a telecoms company and are responsible for the generation of customer invoices, this option will be for you.
Jumping on the software-as-a-service bandwagon, LiveDocx will also be offered as a service over the Internet. Although the price point will be considerably lower than the above option, it has yet to be set. I can, however, say that usage will be charged based upon the amount of bandwidth consumed. This option is most interesting, if you only need to generate a small number of documents (1 to 10,000 per month).
In both cases, accessing LiveDocx via phpLiveDocx remains identical. Indeed, you can start off with the service option and then migrate to the appliance option in the future without changing your application code.
Your feedback is requested!
The LiveDocx guys are actively soliciting potential customers to talk to them about these and other licensing models and indeed their experiences with LiveDocx. Feel free to contact them and let them know what you consider to be a fair licensing concept.
I will keep you posted on developments as and when they happen.
Updated on February 18, 2009: LiveDocx Service can now be used completely free of charge. For more information, see this post.